of course, i know it is dumb to think of you when there are real things happening.

for two days i have been paralyzed in front of facebook as things get worse and worse.

i mourned the lives of my brothers quietly because i can’t do it online anymore. i’m tired of that. there’s a degree to which i appreciate the solidarity people are expressing, but there’s something i’ve always found trite about the weepy memes and the shallow infographics. and, as things keep getting worse and worse with little signs of improvement, can we conclude already that that shit isn’t actually effecting any real change? am i wrong about this? “say their names” we demand. of our politicians, of our journalists, of the NRA. yet we ourselves do not say them. we write them. we type them out. we cram them into sentiments expressed in 240 characters or less. that is not speech.

or am i here purporting a logocentric ideology?

yet i think there is a difference. for instance, the voice of the cop in the philandro castile video turned my stomach. at first i thought i was hearing fear in his voice, or even regret–but that was the idealist in me being cute. if there was fear it was fear of what was to come, and not what had transpired; if there was regret it was regret for the repercussions of his actions, and not the actions themselves. the voice of the officer in the philandro castile video does crack and break in something that sounds like anguish, but it is not for philandro.

what is fact is that the man’s first inclination when presented with the reality of a (legally) armed, apparently compliant black man was to shoot him–as philandro’s girlfriend reminds us, “not one time, not two times, not three times, not four times, but five. times.”

“i told him to keep his hands open!” the police officer can be heard to shout, never dropping aim.

in any case his first reaction after shooting an armed though compliant black man was to place entirely the blame for the events at the feet of the dying black man. his death was his own fault. i was not surprised by this but when i saw it something slid smooth and wicked into place. i told him to keep his hand open. no matter that philandro had told the officer he had a gun and the papers for it (an expert on the today show said that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do if you get pulled over and you happen to be armed: tell the cop right away that you’re legally carrying). no matter that he was, according to philandro’s girlfriend in the video, attempting to furnish his driver’s license and registration (another thing you’re supposed to do when you get pulled over).

philandro castile was behaving exactly as he should and they still shot him.

that’s the reality of black life in america.

black people get shot for doing exactly what they’re supposed to do and ya’ll still wanna talk at us about all lives matter. bitch WE know that. it’s YA’LL that keep missing the memo.





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